|The Courier N° 123 Sept - October 1990 - Dossier Higher Education - Country Reports: Barbados - (EC Courier, 1990, 104 p.)|
|Training schemes under Lomé II and III|
by BartholomMAT ARMENGOL and Jean-Pierre DUBOIS
Financial aspects and geographical breakdown
Education and training accounted for about 16% of total commitments to the Associated States of Africa and Madagascar under the 1st EDF, but their share had dropped considerably, to only 9 %, by the 4th EDF (Lom).
Under LomI, national and regional training schemes represented about ECU 268 m, i.e. slightly more than 8% of the 5th EDF (national and regional) programme funds, and there were training operations in some of the projects on top of this. But the vast majority (85 % of operations and 87 % of investment) was independent of projects and in most cases involved multiannual training programmes consisting mainly of study grants, seminars and tailormade technical assistance operations.
The situation in the different regions varied widely, with a high percentage of training schemes in Southern Africa and the Caribbean and a very low one in Central Africa and in the Horn (see box).
With LomII, the current total for known training schemes - i.e. both tied to and independent of projects and programmes - approaches the ECU 265 m mark, which is roughly 5.6% of (national and regional) programme funds under the 6th EDF. There is a difference with LomI here, in that this amount includes the training component of the major programmes and a reasonable assessment of the sums spent on education in the projects and programmes which went before the EDF Committee in 1989.
Regional differences persist. Although training schemes account for 5.6% of the 6th EDF programme funds overall, the Southern African percentage is far greater than that. The Caribbean figure is almost entirely accounted for by a heavy regional training component, as it was under LomI, while Southern Africa has a very large number of training (in the formal sense of the word) projects at both national and regional level.
And training represents a very small percentage of EDF-financed schemes in Central Africa, as it does in the Horn.
Lastly, the major training component in the coastal states of West Africa is very largely due to the emphasis on training schemes in Nigeria.
Multiannual training programmes are a thing of the past almost everywhere, but independent projects still account for a considerable volume of activity and investment and understandably so, since training programmes cannot just confine them-selves to the requirements of the focal sector, but have to bear general needs in mind too.
So, in financial terms, training schemes account for less under LomII than they did under LomI (ECU 265 m, or 5.6% of programme funds, as compared to ECU 268 m, or 8%).
This overall reduction works out very differently in the regions. Whereas the amounts spent on projects remain comparable in coastal and East Africa, there is an increase in Southern Africa and West Africa and a drop in Central Africa - a trend which has emerged among the funders too and in the countries South of the Sahara, which have been spending less and less on education over the past few years.
This decline in the amount the Community channels into training reflects the ACPs own reservations about their education and training systems - many of them seem to put no priority on educational support, in spite of the negative effect which structural adjustment programmes have on their education budget - as well as a change in the kind of schemes which it finances.
The Community began by financing educational infrastructure and then gradually added to this, from Yaound onwards, by paying for study grants and courses, sending out teaching staff, running special vocational training programmes and, more recently, promoting cooperation between institutions and universities.
The percentage of financing spent on infrastructure has decreased over the various Conventions and that spent on technical assistance and grants considerably increased.
Since the 1st EDF, the Community has financed a large number of primary and secondary education schemes, mainly building schools and teacher training, and this has partly continued under Lom11, in particular with financing for microprojects and refugee relief programmes (Article 204 of LomII) and, in some cases, use of the counterpart funds accruing from the various instruments.
But the bulk of Community aid has gone into the tertiary sector, both (and above all) into building and equipment and then, under LomI especially, increasingly into support packages combining technical assistance with equipment, staff improvement programmes, study grants and building and rehabilitation.
This tertiary sector drive includes general backing for universities and more targeted support, particularly for vocational technical training, science and mathematics, management, statistics, rural development and animal and human health, and it reflects a general trend among the funders and the ACP countries themselves, all of which have channelled a huge percentage of resources into education and advanced training.
The inter-institutional and inter-university cooperation of which there were one or two cases under Lom has been stepped up considerably under LomI, the largest number of schemes being in Nigeria and the countries of Southern Africa. The Third Convention in fact emphasises the importance of this departure and the Community cannot but encourage it.
Community-financed technical cooperation has taken other forms too. Funds have been provided for one or two trainer-experts in education ministries to help with the identification and running of training schemes in Swaziland (technical assistance at the Ministry of Education), Nigeria (formation of a Training Support Unit taking in the National Universities Commission, the NAO, the Ministry of Technology and the Ministry of Education), Sudan (Sudanese technical assistance with running the training programme) and Tanzania (in the big ASSP programme). But this type of cooperation remains an exception as far as the Community is concerned.
More common is the support given to ACP training institutions, often in the form of internal technical assistance with management, teaching or staff improvement programmes, as follows:
- Management support for programmes to put people in the picture about anti-desertification in the Sahel and in the coastal states of West Africa.
- Teaching support for institutions - pre-university science and mathematics training in various countries of Southern Africa, support for the University of Swaziland, for the Veterinary Faculty of Zimbabwe University, for Universities and Polytechnics in Nigeria etc.
- Staff Improvement Programmes - support for Makerere (Uganda), Uniswa (Swaziland), etc.
Another form of technical assistance involves organising ad hoc training courses locally, with European technical assistance, preferably as part of major programmes (such as the development of the Mono in Benin and support for training in the cooperative movement in Tanzania).
EEC and/or ACP consultants may also be sent out to identify training programmes, as has happened in Sudan, Nigeria, Swaziland, Uganda, the Solomon Islands, Benin and so on.
And there are the scholarship programmes. Although aid for training seems to involve a constantly dwindling number of study grants (this includes those for Europe), the decline is far from being as great as figures suggest, because LomII grants only began to be committed in late 1988 and the biggest commitments are yet to come.
The majority of ACP grant-holders in Europe study in the United Kingdom, followed by France and Belgium. This is easily explained by the traditional links with the former metropolises and by the fact that English-speaking ACP countries predominate. Language plays its part here, in spite of the effort some Member States have made with specialised (often post-graduate) programmes in English and/or French for developing country nationals.
Aspects of implementation
The Community began by financing training schemes, mainly through its multiannual training programmes - tailor-made study grant and technical assistance package.
LomII made an important change here and one which reflected an attitude which many funders adopted too. It involved focusing aid on certain sectors and, therefore, integrating the training schemes into the various programmes and projects, thus bringing the courses more into line with the specific needs of the economy and perhaps ensuring a better spread of training possibilities, to the benefit of informal and professional vocational subjects, so as to help make for greater democracy of opportunity.
The programming of programme-and project-linked training schemes fell badly behind under LomII. In many cases, the relevant training was not even identified, let alone provided, before the arrival of the technical assistance team responsible for running the programme, and some times not so for several years after approval of the programme by the Commission.
At the same time, specific support for national and regional training institutes is of course still possible under LomII and many such operations have been run. And there are training programmes which are based on studies of exact needs and better integrated than the old multiannual ones used to be.
The Community is now making a considerable effort to improve its identification and programming of training schemes - an effort which may help to explain the delay in financial commitments - but it still does not have the human resources it needs, either in Brussels or in the Delegations, to improve the quality and quantity of these operations. Accordingly there is no guarantee of proper follow-up. The decline in the relative value of training funds from Lom l to LomII in fact corresponds to a considerable increase in the number of training schemes, particularly in Southern Africa and Nigeria.
The various aspects of the volume of finance channelled into training schemes are not necessarily significant, although the decline in resources spent on education and training does not, of course suggest that it is high on the Communitys list of priorities. The decisive thing is the contribution which training makes to the viability of development projects and to the improvement of training institutes required for national development. This contribution will be improved by a more precise definition of training needs and by tighter contol at the stage of project definition.
This means that, even though the Community does not see training and education as a priority in its relations with the ACPs, its work in this field is vital nonetheless, bearing in mind the restrictive attitude of many of the funders and the reluctance of the ACP countries themselves.
The Community still has an effort to make here, however, as in many cases it has still not managed to bring in the training schemes needed to improve the viability of development projects.
The European Development Funds resources under the Lomonventions are allocated to national or regional programmes designed jointly by the Commission of the European Communities and its ACP partners. Where the ACP States so wish, some of the resources are spent on training in the individual countries or in a regional context, for example in cooperation with organisations such as the SADCC or specialised ACP or EEC training institutes. For the purposes of regional cooperation, the ACP States are divided into eight regions.
Regional breakdown of proportion of national funds under LomI and LomII allocated to training (%)
Regional programmes (%)
Training schemes can be part of other EDF-financed development projects, depending on sectoral priorities, or they can stand alone. Training components are supported by an array of accompanying measures ranging from construction work to technical assistance.
National Indicative Programmes
In none of the eight regions was more than 20 % of national programme resources allocated to training under LomI and LomII. East, West and Southern Africa and the Sahel accounted for 87 % of Africas share of training funds. Africas share of total training funds rose to 94%.
Though more resources were available under LomII, fewer funds were allocated to training.
Under LomI, 11% of funds went to training. This figure fell to just over 8% under LomII.
Central, Southern and West Africa and the Caribbean accounted for 90% of regional training funds.
There was no training component in the Pacific region.
Under LomI, all regions channelled at least 40% of their national training funds through comprehensive training programmes.
There was a trend under LomII to increase the amounts allocated to training components within other projects (up from 7 % to 3 1%). Reflecting the policy shift, more funds were directed towards agricultural projects, with a corresponding decrease in industrial investment. However, services still accounted for one fifth of the funds allocated to training.
Cultural projects came on the scene for the first time.
Purely agricultural training projects accounted for 5 % of total national training funds under LomI, with approximately one third of the projects in East Africa, but the percentage doubled when agriculture-related projects were included, rising to 33 % under LomII.
At least 30% of LomI training funds in East and Southern Africa went on industrial training and 17 of the 19 projects were in these two regions.
The same applied under LomII.
Training operations accounting for approximately one third of national training funds appeared under this mixed heading, showing a quantity of projects associated with various sectors.
Technical assistance, scholarship and infrastructure content of training operations (%)
Regional funds (%)
Level of training
The tendency, especially in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific regions, has been to concentrate on university or vocational training. However, operations at primary and secondary levels did increase under LomII (17 out of 131). This applied to regional programmes as well. Higher-level training often included a technical component.
It is often difficult to identify the individual components of training operations but the table below gives an idea of the breakdown.
When we consider that funds for national indicative programmes increased under LomII as compared to LomI, it is disappointing to note that expenditure on training in fact decreased, relatively speaking.
Generally, resources have been directed where the need is greatest and the trend has been towards integrating training into projects ab initio.
Educational reform was undertaken in 1971 and 1972, but its failings, particularly on the technical and vocational side, were such that a general conference on education and training had to be held in 1981.
After this, the National Reform Commission invited the Education Ministry to set up the New School , a new departure which, according to the countrys 7th Development Plan, was aimed, inter alia, at extending vocational education and bringing the quantity and quality of vocational training more into line with the needs of the employment market.
The schemes involved here include the creation and development of CRFPs - Regional Vocational Training Centres - in the interior, to promote economic activity in all branches of the modern, traditional and informal sectors which either presently exist or which could be encouraged in the rural areas.
The 5th EDF has financed a detailed study of two regions - Saint Louis and Ziguinchor - where the problem of tailoring training to present and future employment is particularly acute.
The Senegal Valley development policy, involving the gradual development of irrigated farming and directly and indirectly allied activities, was the cause of some upheaval, particularly on rural life, in the St. Louis region. It resulted in concentration of population in areas by the river, development potential for agro-food industries, activities prompted by the increase in irrigated crops and a change in traditional methods resulting either in unemployment or emigration.
The education system had to meet the demands of this situation and ensure that the extension of irrigation and improvements to growing methods would indeed make it possible to reactivate the economy and encourage other development possibilities (in fishing, craft linked to production systems, intensive animal rearing and so on).
Surveys of businessmen, producers (in the modern sector) and operators in the craft sector (masters, qualified craftsmen and apprentices) revealed that there were considerable needs to be met at virtually every level. Technical training for specific posts and a higher standard of literacy in the modern sector, as well as training and advanced technical skills in administration, financial management and production organisation in the craft sector were called for.
General training (in French and mathematics) for apprentices is seen as a priority (being the stepping stone to technical qualifications), as is a more specific grounding in general mechanics, metalwork, welding, furniture assembly, clothing manufacture and electronics.
This area has very sound physical and climatic potential when it comes to the sort of development that is focused on agriculture, fishing, forestry and tourism.
Surveys suggest that requirements in the modern sector hinge on improving general and technical knowledge, perfecting work organisation and developing in-service training.
Professionals consulted in the informal sector stress that training arrangements should be compatible with craft production methods (and involve evening classes and crash courses). Priority for apprentices is on literacy and training in technology, followed by mechanics and electrics.
The whole idea of the CRFPs is to set up decentralised training structures that are flexible and can be constantly adapted to the needs of the economy in the regions concerned. In practice, this adaptability is achieved, in particular, by having all the regions economic operators (administrators, professional organisations, businessmen and the users themselves) involved in defining the training schemes.
It is the CRFPs job to assist the aforementioned category of young person, namely those already outside the school system or taken out of courses by an apprenticeship.
The beneficiaries of the scheme are craftsmen and manual workers, people in charge of groups and associations (of women, youngsters, villagers etc), apprentices, lower secondary school pupils who cannot follow vocational training courses, small bosses in trade and industry and women (additional training and job creation).
On offer are technical, practical and theory classes (in construction techniques, ironwork, woodwork and mechanics) for craftsmen and manual workers, additional training (in literacy, current events etc), educational training for selected craftsmen with a view to passing on technical skills to apprentices, basic training for apprentices and courses to bring young people in a learning situation up to standard.
The training schemes are designed to cater for needs, in the light of local resources and in coordination with the other people involved (businessmen, professional organisations and so on), and they can therefore be altered or amended from one year to the next to provide the best possible response to the demands of the labour market and the sectoral policies of the Government.
General principles of training
The Centres educational principles involve ensuring a constant link between training and production, which of course means developing the sort of educational engineering which will provide permanent diagnostic, design and evaluation facilities.
Other, equally vital principles behind the coherence of training and production include alternating theory and practice, producing utilitarian objects in the workshops, getting teams of teachers and students to fit out their own workshops, access to local workshops and, lastly, issuing formal qualifications in the light of the professions recognition of skills actually acquired. If there is no reference to national diplomas, then there will be no slippage into fields already amply catered for by the surplus diploma-holders turned out by many conventional training institutions.
Articles 150 and 151 of the new Convention (in annex) describe priority education and training schemes.
Education and training needs are to be identified at the programming stage (i.e. in the indicative programme), a requirement which also applies to projects and programmes to be financed from the counterpart funds. They are to be geared to the sectoral aims of the indicative programme and are therefore linked to Community aid - a LomV innovation which should make for the fastest possible implementation of training schemes.
These training schemes may be clearly identified, integrated programmes and preferably run in focal sectors, although this does not rule out those in other sectors too.
All major development programmes will have to have training sections which start up, if possible, before the programmes themselves and not several years afterwards as was often the case under LomII.
Level of education
Article 151 of LomV contains an important change in that it puts priority in this field on support for primary education and literacy schemes - a response to what is a totally reasonable request from the ACPs, bearing in mind the general state of their primary schools. This is another of LomVs innovations.
Nevertheless, in view of the Communitys present experience of higher education and technical and vocational training, some importance must be placed on continuing support in these two areas, with local training courses in ACP institutions still to the fore and regional training institutions getting priority.
The Communitys support for higher education and technical and vocational training will still be geared to:
- keeping the teachers in their jobs and improving the intellectual and material environment of teaching in various ways, with staff improvement programmes, management support, research support (particularly in libraries) and help with building accommodation for teachers;
- regional training institutions, perhaps with a grants fund (supplied by the regional funds and allocated for courses in regional institutions), and inter-university cooperation;
- rehabilitating buildings and equipment.
Education and the social aspects of adjustment
Education may be an essential part of the social dimension of adjustment policies and one which the Community may want to single out with the World Bank - i.e. where appropriate, to discuss projected adjustment measures and reforms affecting the whole of the system of education with the World Bank and the ACPs concerned. This is something which did not happen under LomII and it is the most important innovation of the new Convention.
The Community could run a basic sectoral dialogue here, on the countrys education policy, within certain limits and with a view to two kinds of financial support:
(i) to formulate particular aspects of the education policy envisaged within the framework of an adjustment programme. This could be in the form of technical assistance;
(ii) to encourage particular schemes. This could be combined with technical assistance.
Given its limited human and financial possibilities at the moment, it can only hope to have such discussions with a limited number of ACP countries. Most of its training schemes, in fact, will be a continuation of work done under LomII.
And it will have to adopt a very gradual approach to commitments in this limited number of countries, initially only agreeing to the possible financing of some aspects of the educational reforms which the ACP and the World Bank propose if these aspects are in line with Community objectives.
With education policies, it has to be realised that the effect of measures which are proposed to, forced upon or chosen by a country is never the anticipated one, as the following example show:
- It may seem legitimate, as the World Bank systematically suggests, to support primary and secondary schooling to the detriment of higher education, although without always asking why attendance is poor.
- Another problem is that a number of funders systematically support educational reforms which put far more stress on technical and vocational training than general courses. Is this effective when it comes to looking for a job? And is it financially justified?
The Community will be especially careful to take the individual features of the various education systems into account, as their costs (of salaries, supervision etc), for example, may be made up in different countries in different ways. And it will be sure to go for the restrictive measures that are socially the least difficult to apply.
The Community might envisage an educational SIP (Special Import Programme) under certain conditions, a useful instrument, particularly when it comes to delivering the teaching materials and equipment that are vital to the running of all or part of an education system.
It is important to realise that the Community does not have the human resources to start up a proper dialogue on these issues with the ACP institutions.
So the first risk it runs is of wasting these meagre resources in its relations with other funders, some of whom, the World Bank for example, are in a de facto position of dominance. The Communitys relations with this body are in fact outpacing its relations with the ACP countries, perverting LomV dangerously and entailing a real political risk.
The second risk is that of forcing the ACPs to undertake educational reforms without an adequate knowledge of their institutions and without a thoroughgoing dialogue with them. So the ACPs have to know what they want and to tell the Community so.